Saturday, October 10, 2015

One Year

October 5th marked the one year anniversary of Olivia's still delivery. That evening, our family did a few things to honor her memory. Lily and Ella got to decorate cupcakes at the grocery store, which means they adorned cupcakes with up to 4 trinkets each. They chose things like It's a Girl and Happy Birthday along with items they like best such as gumballs and Reese cups. We enjoyed the cupcakes before dinner then headed out to Olivia's tree.

Outside, Lily read Sleep Baby Safe and Snug, which is the book Troy and I read to Olivia while we held her in the hospital, and Ella sang a rousing rendition of happy birthday.

The next night, we joined many other families who have lost babies in pregnancy or infancy in a garden ceremony. It just so happens that October is pregnancy and infant loss month, so this yearly event coincides almost exactly with Olivia's anniversary. We added 5 tags for our 5 losses to a memory tree. We wrote messages to Olivia. (Ella's: Come to me so I can hold you.) Every family got to speak the name of their baby or babies for all to hear. Lily asked if she could be the one to speak Olivia's name and did a great job in front of the large group. The event culminated with everyone planting a tulip bulb for each of their lost babies. We planted 5. Four bulbs circled around the 5th, which we planted with our messages to Olivia.

These events were all done in joyful memory of our daughter and sister who we grew to love in such a short time last year.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Caught off Guard

It's been months since I've cried about Olivia. That's not to say I don't think about her. With Ella still bringing her up weekly, I can rest assured that her memory is safely being kept. But now it's October. It was at my 16 week appointment on October 2nd that we received the news that Olivia had died.

The fact that October and this anniversary was approaching has been on my mind, but I was completely caught off guard by my emotions at my non stress test for Will yesterday. I showed up doing just fine. Then the receptionist informed me they were doing flu shots that day. Immediately, I was transported back to October 2nd of last year. That fateful appointment had begun with a flu shot to protect me during a pregnancy that had unbeknownst to me already ended.

I somewhat hesitantly agreed to the shot yesterday after confirming that it could help protect Will since he'll be too young to be immunized himself this year. I just had specific directions for the nurse. I told her I would need to already be hooked up to the heart beat monitor so I could listen to Will's heart beating while she gave me the shot.  I also said that she should wait to take my blood pressure because it was surely high as that point. We followed my protocol to a tee, but as soon as the nurse went to leave me alone to continue my NST, I felt the tears coming. Apparently, that shot was enough of a trigger to send me over the edge when combined with the calendar change and being at the doctor's office.

The nurse offered to sit and talk with me, and she ended up staying the whole half hour of the test. I got to talk about Olivia like I haven't done in months. I quickly went from crying to just remembering and sharing. I'm thankful that the nurse dropped everything else that I'm sure was calling for her and just kept me company and asked about my baby girl.